Despite private denials by Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen that dispatchers are leaving Oak Lawn, the Oak Lawn Regional Emergency Communications (OLREC) is advertising for 9-1-1 dispatchers with starting pay set at $43,826 for applicants without experience and perhaps more for experienced dispatchers.
The applicants hired will be employees of NORCOMM, which entered into a contract with the Village of Oak Lawn after the board fired its union dispatchers in a controversial move engineered by Deetjen a few years ago.
OLREC is a civilian non-union staffed communications center that serves eight fire departments, six police departments and the Mutual Aid Box Alarm System (MABAS) Division 21 under extreme pressure yet it offers exciting and challenging work to dispatchers that must apply by September 14th.
While NORCOMM employees do not receive the same benefits that Oak Lawn village employees receive, the company does provide medical benefits, a 401K plan, vacation and sick time.
A dispatcher or telecommunicator answers the 9-1-1 calls, transmits information to fire departments and police departments, monitors burglar alarms and answers administrative lines for the police and fire departments.
The successful applicant will work four eight hour shift days and have two days off so the days will naturally rotate with dispatchers having to work some weekends. The company may also have to extend the shifts to as many as sixteen hours if staffing needs demand the extension.
In order to be considered, applicants must have a High School Diploma, be able to type 40 words per minute, pass a test, a physical exam and psychological exam. Drug screening will be done on all successful applicants.
The company will not assign the successful applicant to a work shift until the employee is fully certified and trained. Employees must be able to obtain a valid Permanent Employee Registration Card (usually called a PERC or PERC Card), which is an identification card used by the State of Illinois to verify a person’s clean criminal history. The employee must keep the card in good standing with the State of Illinois.
Deetjen reportedly attacked an item in the Oak Lawn Leaf two weeks ago that first published a tip that the dispatch center was losing dispatchers to public entities that pay pensions. Deetjen called the story “fake news”. The Village Manager could not be reached by email for a comment this weekend.
According to the company, applicants that have experience may be offered a higher starting salary.
Applications may be obtained and completed online at the link below: